I discovered Edward Yao when I saw him pitching Teambuy on the Dragons Den. Here is another example of how age is no barrier to success in the Toronto tech community. He co-founded Teambuy.ca in 2009. Then in 2011, at age 24, he was honoured as one of Canada’s Top Young Entrepreneurs by the Fuel Awards.
Success came quickly for Edward Yao and Teambuy, but this is no overnight success story. Their success seems to be a combination of a viral business concept, hard work, and not accepting the first offer that was tossed to them on the Dragons Den.
Rapid Rise to Success
- Teambuy was launched in Oct. 2009 by Edward Yao and Andrew Hutchings
- Featured on Dragon’s Den in 2010 where they turned down an offer from Kevin O’Leary for $150,000 for 51%, then accepted 35% at $150,000 from Jim Treliving.
- Raised 7 Million in July 2011 and 5 Million in Feb. 2012
- According to a post on Techvibes, TeamBuy.ca is the third most popular daily deal site behind Groupon and WagJag.com
The Genius Solution
How did TeamBuy go from startup to household name in only 2 years? Here it is in Edward Yao’s own words:
It takes a lot of hustling. You need to be putting in more work and more time than anyone else. The nice thing about our business model, and it doesn’t come across very often, is that it’s inherently viral. It’s 50 to 90% off on things that you use and consume like products, travel, spas and restaurants. So it’s not as hard for me to convince you to come and use TeamBuy as it would be if I were to start a juice company and say ‘hey try our juice, its comparatively priced but you should try it’. So we grew really quickly and a benefit of that is we secured funding and we used that capital to grow even faster. Source: QA with President and Co-founder of Teambuy Edward Yao